stillpoint yoga

yoga meditation and philosophy with Lynn Fraser
in the Himalayan Tradition of H.H. Sri Swami Rama


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Himalayan Tradition

Swami Rama

What Is Yoga?




Off The Mat

Daily Practice

Children’s Yoga



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Swami Rama tells a wonderful story about courage and determination in his video series on the Yoga Sutras. Once when he was a monk in India, he had made a resolve (sankalpa shakti) to go somewhere for a specific purpose. He was doing an extended practice of silence (mauna) at the time. He was walking along and came to a bridge over a deep gorge. He was part way across when a tiger started across from the other side. Swamiji thought about his 3 options – to go back, go over the side or go forward. He said he thought ‘I have made a vow to go forward. If I break that vow to myself, what good is my word to myself?’  He knew if he jumped over the side he would die. So he went forward. From his silence he let out a powerful sound and the tiger turned around. He crossed the bridge and continued on the path he had set for himself.


  1.  What is courage? What kinds of courage are there? When do I feel brave? Fearful? What do I do when I feel fear? Do I know I am afraid at the time or only when I look back on it? What one thing could I do next time I feel fear? Examples could include having trouble standing up to people, not saying my truth when I am scared I will be ridiculed, not letting people really know me, feeling inauthentic or being scared to try new things, like a challenging asana. 

  2. Think of a time when you jammed out on a commitment you made to yourself or when something you did led you to feel ‘bad’ about yourself.  Describe what happened. Why do you think it happened?  After this, ask yourself   – how or what could I do differently? Do I want to re-address the issue or simply try change the next time? Looking at the yamas and niyamas, write about 1 or 2 that  apply to this jamming out? Am I not being truthful? Am I attached to someone’s opinion of me?  What is one thing I could do that would bring a different result? Do I want to address it with the person involved or wait until it comes up again? Write out a plan for how to approach the situation next time.  Role play acting in this new way. Visualize having it ‘go well’.  How does that feel? What is the worst response you could get? How does that feel? What are other options? Decide what you will do and set a resolve in the mind to do this next time you are in a similar situation.  After it happens, review your original plan and write about how it actually went and how you felt about it.

  3. A few evenings before bed this week and before coming to class next week, journal for 5 minutes on what you learned about yourself through this observation. 

  4. Throughout the week, practice the skill of staying in the present moment. When you notice fear or courage, make a mental note about what is going on at the time. Before next week’s class, journal for 5 minutes about what you observed.


More on journalling.